Bufflehead Head Duck Wintering In Barnegat Bay

Dated: 02/22/2016

Views: 3568

Bufflehead Duck

I spotted this Bufflehead Duck Saturday feeding in Barnegat Bay.    They are a diving duck that feed on mostly  aquatic invertebrates, crustaceans, and mollusks and swallow their food underwater.  In saltwater, Bufflehead ducks eat shrimp, crabs, amphipods, isopods, snails, mussels, herring eggs, sculpins, and ratfishes.  I enjoyed watching him (not sure of the sex) dive constantly where each dive would last between 12 and no more than 25 seconds.  This made it difficult to snap a photo.  The Bufflehead migrates down from Canada and habitats Alaska also.  The Bufflehead nests almost exclusively in holes excavated by Northern Flickers and, on occasion, by Pileated Woodpeckers. Unlike most ducks, the Bufflehead is mostly monogamous, often remaining with the same mate for several years.  It is North America's smallest duck.

The weather was warm, around 60 degrees so a walk at the Barnegat Municipal Dock was called for.  Living in close proximity to the dock, I live in the Mirage at Barnegat which is an adult community that  offers an active lifestyle.   The dock is also a go to spot in the summer where they offer free concerts on the weekends.  Barnegat also has a beautiful bay beach right around the corner that is great for the kids and grandkids.  If you want the waves you can go to Long Beach Island which is only a short car ride away.  The Jersey shore has many activities year round.  Barnegat is located close to the NJ Parkway, Atlantic City, and plenty of shopping.


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